It took America some 241 years from the ‘Declaration of Independence’ to become the Leading Country in the World, economically, militarily and politically - in other words, ‘Great’ - politically, economically, and militarily.
On the World Stage, it took Trump about two years to make America very small again, by doing all the things that brought the very legitimacy of the US Presidential Elections into question; by appointing people in high places that have ended-up under criminal charges; in jail; or they had to resign due to scandals or ineptness; or even because they wouldn’t do Trump’s bidding, as his surrogates, because what he was asking of them was either illegal, or simply wrong.
This out-of-the-gate mass dysfunction of the Trump administration was reported by the British Ambassador, in e-mails to his own government (that were leaked), as – ‘abnormal, dysfunctional, unpredictable, faction-driven, diplomatically clumsy and inept’. Such a withering indictment of a major government by another that is one of the most diplomatically sophisticated and experienced, and, is one of US’s strongest allies. This is unprecedented and damaging to a diminished US, globally.
These unflattering critiques of the Trump administration are of-course well known, but rather than coming from partisan opponents, this critique was from an arms-length major government that is politically and diplomatically one of the closest, strongest allies of the US. That fact alone gives this critique additional weight and credibility, in the eyes of the watching world.
On top of that, at the recent G-20 Summit in Osaka, Japan (an important gathering of Leaders of the 20 most economically powerful countries in the world), the diminution of America was very much on display, aided by Trump’s own policies.
In the past, America was the de-facto leader of the world, particularly after the collapse of the former ‘Super-Power’, the Soviet Union. But this time, Trump’s America did not lead the world in anything at all. In fact, America was the voluntary outlier on the most pressing issues discussed at the G-20.
On the most critical issues, on the 2019 G-20 agenda, global trade, climate change, women’s empowerment, artificial intelligence and marine pollution - America not only did not lead, it was in full retreat because of Trump. And that left the EU no choice but to step in as the leader of the free and democratic world, a role that was America’s before Trump. (The EU is also now the most powerful trading block globally, and a global leader in ‘Multinational Trade Agreements’, which Trump and America now reject, in spite of opposition from Republicans and Democrats alike).
On most of these important issues, including global trade, climate change, women empowerment and global marine pollution, the EU emerged as the world leader, breaking with Trump’s policies, and as a result, it led other nations in multi-national Joint-Policy Communiques, minus Trump’s America of course.
And, due to America’s abdication of the global leadership role, and Trump’s personal fascination, admiration and fawning sycophancy of all dictators, the authoritarian regimes of Russia and China played a far more significant role among the G-20 than otherwise would have been possible.
Additionally, Trump’s open nepotism in promoting his daughter and son-in-law, made America look like a Third-World family run affair, with powerful officials like Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, hovering deferentially in the background, while the daughter played power broker front and center, very ineptly.
Her cringe-worthy intrusion into the conversation of some of the World Leaders is now legend on social media, as the epitome of embarrassment for the US.
Trump followed up the G-20 meeting with a seemingly impromptu meeting with his second-most favorite dictator, Kim Jong-Un of North Korea, a brutal despot that every US President before Trump, and every major Western Leader has avoided like the plague, because they knew of North Korea’s decades long insincere game.
But to Trump, Kim Jong-Un is a fine guy, a man after his own heart.
As if that isn’t bad enough to downgrade America in the rest of the world’s eye, Trump takes it upon himself to step into North Korea with his ubiquitous daughter and son-in-law in tow, to give the brutal regime further credibility.
All this in the name of a so-called nuclear detente that North Korea is promising to engage in, but if history is any handicapper, it never does.
For Trump to be so willing to be played by ‘little Kim’ in front of the World’s watching eyes, is to diminish America to a court jester, in international leadership.
From the ‘Greatness’ sapping ‘Outlier’ role at the G-20, to the credibility battering images at the DMZ (De-Militarized Zone), on the borders of the two Korea’s, Trump launched into the gaffe prone ultra-patriotic iconic-speech attempt, and the clownish under-whelming display of US Military might on the 4th of July parade.
Leaving aside questions of appropriateness of the event, and of Presidential behavior, the ‘Grand Military Parade’ that craved to look like the most ‘Powerful’ was a comparative joke to the huge military displays of other countries.
Those parades had so inspired Trump that he desperately tried to emulate them in the US in some fashion, even if it was not a 4th of July tradition. But from the very beginning it was a sham, from a military-power perspective, as well as from every other perspective.
Firstly, two tanks, a couple of personnel carriers, four fighter jets, one ‘Air Force One’ jumbo jet and a helicopter, does not a ‘Grand Military Parade’ make.
The real military parades of other nations have columns of heavy military vehicles including tanks; ranks and ranks of precision marching armed forces personnel from the army, air force and the navy; heavy artillery, missiles, jet fighters, bombers, special units, etc. etc.
Trump’s attempt at military grandeur had none of all that. His 'Military Parade' was a comical reflection of the real thing, like most of his initiatives so far, and did the 'American Super-Power' status a real disservice.
Secondly, Trump’s speech was a gaffe prone attempt that only highlighted his utter cluelessness of what he is saying as to the content. His glaring unfamiliarity with important milestones in American history, the placement of events in the proper historical context, all resulted in a weather interrupted, rain soaked, meme-producing extravaganza that would have done a Mel Brooks comedy justice.
In front of him, and through the rain-soaked bullet proof glass, one could see not a sea-tide of humanity, but rather, mostly a body of water, the long reflection pool, with people in two bands on both sides.
The normally non-partisan Independence Day celebrations became a Trump political quasi-rally, with a cordoned-off area reserved for VIP Republicans, donors and important supporters, while the ’public’ was fenced out.
The event was wrongly conceived and poorly executed, and did nothing for America’s image nationally or globally, but was the usual Trump inspired homage to a tone-deaf narcissist always looking to boost his own image as a heroic figure leading the country to great heights, while tastelessly lampooning his way to another meme-producing exercise in futility, when it comes to up-lifting America.
And now, he is publicly miffed, humiliated and lashing out at the British Ambassador, Sir Kim Darroch, for informing the British government through ultra-confidential diplomatic cables (now leaked), of the dysfunction of the Trump administration. And the fact, that Sir Kim called him ’insecure’, ’incompetent’ and ’inept’, which is the general sentiment globally, but generally kept confidential.
America, once a respected country, is steadily and furiously being diminished by Trump’s highly uncomfortable, uniquely public, and all-encompassing dysfunction.